It’s a glowing example as just how much meetings between Liverpool and Everton mean to those both in and outside of Merseyside that one of England’s most famous derbies is as just a big part to the city most famous for a little-known pop band called The Beatles.
Though neither the Reds or the Toffees are serial challengers for the Premier League title right now, there’s little doubt the Merseyside derby is one of the biggest names on the English footballing calendar and fixtures that go some way into deciding the complexion of the top six or so.
A city of such culture, the fact good old fashioned football takes precedence when Liverpool meet Everton is a indicative of the passion running through the veins of those on the banks of the River Mersey. The longest running derby to have been played in the top flight, the two games over a season so often split families when match day rolls around in the Premier League.
More red cards than any other derby in the league, meetings between the two are full of passion and intensity, summing up the warm heart of Liverpool as a city on the whole.
Visit Britain are looking to find the biggest Super Football Fan in the world, and to be honest, there will be a fair few to choose from in this particular part of England.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the five best Merseyside derbies in recent memory.
Few fixtures in recent memory some of up the passion of the Merseyside derby better than this one. Everton were reduced to nine men in a controversial game at Goodison Park after taking the lead through a Sami Hyypia own goal, though a Dirk Kuyt double saw Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool come back in the dying embers of the game.
Mark Clattenburg refused a late penalty for the Toffees after Jamie Carragher hauled down Joleon Lescott, sparking fury in the closing moments resulting in Phil Neville following Tony Hibbert in being dismissed.
Packed to the rafters with drama, what a pulsating encounter it was.
Promoting the fact Liverpool had been handed the European City of Culture project for 2008, Steven Gerrard and James Beattie (respective No.8s) took to field sporting ‘O8’ jerseys in place of their usual shirts. However, it was a day to forget for the Reds skipper, who was sent off early for petulance and a bad tackle of Toffees star Kevin Kilbane.
Frustratingly for Everton, Xabi Alonso produced a masterclass in midfield to help his side recover from Gerrard’s dismissal as Benitez’s side put their great rivals to the sword.
With Rafa Benitez having delivered both the Champions League and the FA Cup in two seasons to Anfield, Liverpool were in danger of reopening the gap between themselves and Everton, one that had been closed in recent years. Still, symbolic of the competitive nature of this wonderful rivalry, the Toffees weren’t so sweet on that particular notion.
Reds ‘keeper Pep Reina had a day to forget at Goodison Park, failing to deal with a Lee Carsley shot, allowing Andy Johnson to wrap the game up late on after Tim Cahill and Johnson himself had seen Everton take a deserved 2-0 lead.
Both Liverpool and Everton are often found competing for honours on these shores and that was no different in 2012 when the pair met at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final. A nervy affair, both sides were guilty of making defensive mistakes, with Jamie Carragher’s mix up with Daniel Agger allowing Nikica Jelavic to open the scoring in the first-half.
However, nerves got the best of Everton’s Sylvian Distin, whose back pass allowed Luis Suarez to fire home after the interval, before Andy Carroll headed home a late winner to find some joy in an otherwise miserable spell for the club.
Too big for just the confines of Liverpool, this rivalry had London painted red.
Not long before their meeting at Wembley, the Reds welcomed Everton to Anfield with club legend Kenny Daglish in charge for the visit of David Moyes’ Toffees. Coming into the game, Liverpool were in ridiculously poor form (losing their last three) while Everton were unbeaten in 10 at the time, though Steven Gerrard had other ideas.
The Kop legend notched a hat-trick against his bitter rivals, becoming the first man to do so since Ian Rush in 1982, to help his side rediscover that winning formula at long last.
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